Theoretically, only developers currently have access to the latest version of Apple's iOS 5 software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In reality, however, getting access to beta versions of iOS has never been easier for non-developers. Getting the software (which is easily available if you know how to use Google), is just one part of the process, though. Your phone's UDID also has to be registered with Apple. The easiest way to do that is to get a $99 developer account, but for most people, that's a lot of money just to try out some beta software. Because of this, a large market for rogue iOS activations that allows virtually anyone who is wiling to risk $5 to $10 is currently flourishing. Some of these services have been around for a while, though most started around the time of the lengthy iOS 4 beta test.
Google just acquired PostRank, the Canadian social media monitoring and analytics company that allows publishers to see how their content is shared on the social Web. PostRank launched in 2007 (and was still called AidRSS at that time) and currently offers to main products: PostRank Connect and Analytics. Google was most likely more interested in PostRanks' Analytics package, which would make a nice addition to Google's own Analytics service.
Google, Bing and Yahoo today launched a new initiative that will introduce a common vocabulary for adding additional market and structured data to search engine listings. Schema.org, as this new markup is called, allows website owners to give search engines better ways to understand the content on their sites. With schema.org, you can, for example, ensure that a search engine knows that something on your site is a recipe, a movie review with a rating, a listing for a local business or that a specific page is about a product. In total, the schema.org hierarchy knows of a few hundred different content types that can be described through its vocabulary.
Google today launched it’s +1 button for third-party sites. Until now, these buttons were only available on Google’s own search results page, but now, website owners will be able to integrate +1 into their own sites as well. Among today’s launch partners are major tech blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable, as well as Best Buy, The Washington Post, Reuters and Bloomberg. The question, though, is if users will actually want to press these buttons.
It’s a big day for buttons today. Twitter just introduced its new Follow button and thanks to an unfortunate leak, we also know that Google is planning to launch it’s +1 button for third-party sites tomorrow. Twitter’s Follow button has long been overdue. It allows site owners to give their visitors a chance to follow their accounts with just a few click. Google’s +1 button is part of the company’s efforts to add more social signals to its search results. Whenever somebody +1s a story on a third-party site, this information will appear in their friends’ search results if that page appears (and can also push sites up on their friends’ search results pages).
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.